UofA’s Bud Walton Arena receives Lab.gruppen upgrade

The University of Arkansas’ Bud Walton Arena has been upgraded with a new scoreboard and audio system driven entirely by Lab.gruppen D and C series amplifiers – specified for their BSS integration and Lake Processing capabilities.

Over time, the 19,200-seat home of the UofA Razorbacks since 1993, and affectionately known as ’The Basketball Palace of Mid-America,’ has undergone a number of upgrades.

This particular project was decidedly entertainment driven, and designed to further enhance the game day experience, according to UofA associate athletics director, Justin Maland: “It’s not just about the game anymore, it’s about entertainment, video, promotions not just playing canned music between time outs. Also, the configuration of the way we place fans in the arena has changed; for example, we have courtside seats we didn’t have 20 years ago and, with the exception of the centre hang, the audio system hasn’t been replaced since we opened.”

Beyond the age of the system, he added, they required a system with greater flexibility, control and troubleshooting features.

Designed by WJHW and installed by Clair Solutions in October, the system was specified with fan experience foremost in mind. The integration offered by Lab.gruppen’s D Series and C Series figured heavily in the choice to drive the venue’s new EAW loudspeaker system.

“It allowed us to cut back on DSP and Amp circuits, which saved us a lot in terms of electrical upgrades,” said Dustin Goen, system designer at Clair Solutions.

In all, 52 D Series amps were deployed for the project, with a mix of all power options available. The main arrays are powered by 18 D:120L’s and 18 D:80L’s, and the subs by 4 D:200L’s. Twelve D:80Ls were also used for scoreboard fills and delays. Additionally, 17 C 28:4s were installed to cover the event level, ceiling speakers, under balcony and concourse. In addition to Lab.gruppen amps, BSS DSP and EAW loudspeakers, the new system includes a Soundcraft Vi1 console and a Shure wireless package.

The ability to integrate the D Series’ Lake platform with BSS was a major consideration. “We were able to do a handshake between Lake to AMX to BSS so that there was a single unified control system with BSS Audio Architect,” added Scott Bray, consultant at WJHW. “Lake provides an open third party protocol that send/receive data to AMX that is interpreted for the BSS GUI, so there’s a single user interface. They don’t have a full-time sound guy, so we needed to make it as easy as possible.”